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LEV Interviews Rep. Ruth Kagi, Early Learning Champion

Rep. Ruth Kagi - League of Education VotersLeague of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman enjoyed a wonderful conversation with Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32) about the politics of early learning, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Children and Families, and why she decided to run for office.

Listen here:


 

Listen to Governor Jay Inslee talk about his 2017 state budget

Listen to Senator Christine Rolfes talk about the Education Funding Task Force

Listen to Washington state Teachers of the Year talk about teaching philosophy, classroom accomplishments and education priorities

 

Posted in: Closing the Gaps, Early Learning, Legislative session, Podcast

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Education Advocate November 2016

ED Advocate, League of Education Voters Newsletter, November

Greetings

Chris Korsmo
Chris Korsmo, CEO

Election Day is finally upon us! If you haven’t already done so, please remember to vote.

This election season, LEV is collaborating with our inspiring partners to create a better future for every Washington student. 

Read below for more about our work.

Thanks for all you do for kids. We couldn’t do it without you.
Chris Korsmo signature

 

 

Chris Korsmo

Art teacher with students - League of Education Voters

Great Teachers Need Great Preparation

Research consistently shows that teachers have the strongest school-based impact on student performance. The impacts of a highly effective teacher or low-performing teacher can affect students for years to come and influence a student’s likelihood of college attendance and persistence. Our educational system must equip teachers with the skill sets required to meet the needs of a student body that is more diverse each year. Read more

Weighted student formula LEVinar - League of Education Voters

Education Funding Takeaways from California

Governor Jerry Brown proposed a new school finance plan for California in the 2013–2014 budget, called “Local Control Funding Formula.” It increased funding to school districts with a larger number of disadvantaged students by financially weighting those students according to need, simplified current byzantine school finance regulations, and gave school districts more autonomy over finances. Sharonne Navas, Executive Director of the Equity in Education Coalition, will visit California to see firsthand how their new system is working. On November 29, she will present her findings and answer your questions on whether California’s new education funding can work in Washington. Register HERE

League of Education Voters November 2016 Activist of the Month Michele Johnston

Activist of the Month

At the League of Education Voters, we recognize all of the hard work that you do toward improving public education across Washington state. We are pleased to announce our Activist of the Month for November: Michele Johnston. Learn about Michele’s work advocating for public education — especially when it comes to creating an environment where every teacher and student has the autonomy to teach, and learn, the way that works best. Read more
 

Superintendent Randy Dorn - League of Education Voters

OSPI Roles and Responsibilities

One of the most important races in today’s election is for the next state Superintendent of Public Instruction. But what does the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) actually do? Randy Dorn, our current state superintendent, and Gil Mendoza, deputy superintendent, answer your questions about OSPI’s role and work, which levers OSPI has to make changes in education policy, and what the community should expect from OSPI. Watch HERE

Senator Andy Hill - League of Education Voters

Remembering Senator Andy Hill

Frank Ordway, former LEV Director of Government Affairs and current Deputy Director at the Washington State Department of Early Learning, remembers Andy Hill, education champion. Read more

Get Involved

COMING UP

February 11, 2017 | Access, Equity, & Excellence: Annual Parent and Community Training, Tukwila Community Center, Tukwila
March 30, 2017 | LEV 2017 Annual Breakfast, Sheraton Hotel, Seattle


LUNCHTIME LEVINARS

November 29, 2016 | Education Funding Takeaways from California, Online webinar


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League of Education Voters

League of Education Voters2734 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
206.728.6448
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Posted in: Activist of the Month, Advocacy and Activism, Blog, Closing the Gaps, Education Advocate, Elections, Funding, LEV News, Teacher Prep

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Remembering Senator Andy Hill

By Frank Ordway, guest blogger

Senator Andy Hill - League of Education VotersIt is unfortunate that the first time I return to this blog a year after leaving the League of Education Voters is for the purpose of memorializing Andy Hill, though I can think of few people more worthy of praise and remembrance.

LEV, and my, interactions with Andy were momentous for the organization, me personally and the children of Washington state. I remember my first substantive conversation with Andy. He came to a LEV community event shortly after he was elected. We had not endorsed Andy. He arrived, unannounced, right from the soccer field. We got a cup of coffee and went to the back of the room to talk.

His first words were about how he felt there was a lot work we could do together, and was committed to doing so. We had not endorsed Andy, so I was impressed with his maneuver and commitment. We talked about the various challenges confronting the state in general and in education, and where our values aligned. We agreed on a host of things, and disagreed on many as well. But we pledged to work together on the issues where our values aligned.

Andy Hill never wavered from that pledge, and over time we were able to increase the number of items we worked on together. He played an important role in expanding opportunity in early learning, K12 and higher education. One area where we initially disagreed related to the College Bound Scholarship program, but after long talks about the results, he supported the program. Andy was always open to ideas and data.

All too often, the confines of political party membership limit both politicians and advocates. People refuse to work across the aisle; people refuse to give credit to members of parties they oppose, even when they are right. I, and LEV, was able to escape this trap with Andy and get meaningful things done for the students and parents of Washington state in a bi-partisan fashion.

He was the model of quiet, determined leadership. Anchored in his values, he knew the right thing to do for him and was comfortable with his decisions, even when they were not in alignment with his party or advocates like me. I will always remember and be thankful for that attribute.

In my last conversation with Andy, which was regrettably via text, I told him I was praying for him and his family. I also told him to kick cancer’s ass. In addition to thanking me, he said, “That’s my plan.”

He may have lost the battle against cancer. All one can do is control what you can and, where Andy had influence, our state benefited greatly.

We will miss you Andy, but your legacy and approach to public service will be remembered by all of us lucky enough to work with you.

With great admiration and respect,

Frank

Posted in: Blog, Early Learning, Higher Education, Legislative session

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Significant update to Washington state school discipline policy

Governor Jay Inslee signs Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541 into law, with (l-r) Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Rep. Tina Orwall

Governor Jay Inslee signs Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541 into law, with (l-r) Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Rep. Tina Orwall

During the 2016 session, the Washington legislature passed Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541, which includes significant changes to student discipline laws.

These changes also affect the rules for student discipline (Chapter 392-400 WAC) and student enrollment reporting for state funding (WAC 392-121-108) during the period of suspension and expulsion. The Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will align the rules with this new law before the upcoming school year. OSPI will provide further clarification through additional rulemaking during the 2016–17 school year.

Below is summary of changes effective June 9 that impact the 2016–17 school year. For more information, see OSPI Bulletin No. 024-16.

Limitations on Long-Term Suspensions and Expulsions

A long-term suspension or expulsion must not exceed the length of an academic term, as defined by the school board, from the time of the disciplinary action. This shortens the maximum length of a suspension or expulsion from the prior limitation of one calendar year.

School districts must not use long-term suspension or expulsion as a form of discretionary discipline. “Discretionary discipline” is a disciplinary action taken by a district for student behavior that violates the rules of student conduct, except for actions taken in response to:

  1. A violation of the prohibition against firearms on school premises, transportation, or facilities;
  2. Certain violent offenses, sex offenses, offenses related to liquor, controlled substances, and toxic inhalants, and certain crimes related to firearms, assault, kidnapping, harassment, and arson;
  3. Two or more violations within a three-year period of criminal gang intimidation or other gang activity on school grounds, possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities, willfully disobeying school administrators or refusing to leave public property, or defacing or injuring school property; or
  4. Behavior that adversely impacts the health or safety of other students or educational staff.

Except for in response to the above, school districts may no longer use long-term suspension or expulsion. Even for any of the violations above, districts should consider alternative actions before using long-term suspension or expulsion, except for violation of the prohibition against firearms on school premises.

Possession of a telecommunication device and violation of dress and grooming codes are removed from the list of discretionary violations that, if performed two or more times within a three-year period, may result in long-term suspension or expulsion.

Requirement to Provide Educational Services

School districts may not suspend the provision of educational services as a disciplinary action, whether discretionary or nondiscretionary.

While students may be excluded from classrooms and other instructional or activity areas for the period of suspension or expulsion, districts must provide students with an opportunity to receive educational services during that time.

If educational services are provided in an alternative setting, the alternative setting should be comparable, equitable, and appropriate to the regular education services a student would have received without the exclusionary discipline.

Reengagement Plan and Meeting

School districts must convene a reengagement meeting with the student and family when a long-term suspension or expulsion is imposed.

Families must have access to, provide meaningful input on, and have the opportunity to participate in a culturally sensitive and culturally responsive reengagement plan.

Policies and Procedures

School districts must:

  1. Annually disseminate school discipline policies and procedures to students, families, and the community;
  2. Monitor the impact of discipline policies and procedures using disaggregated data; and
  3. Periodically review and update discipline rules, policies, and procedures in consultation with staff, students, families, and the community.

 

Questions? Contact OSPI:

For questions about student discipline, alternatives to suspension, and reengagement meetings:

Joshua Lynch, Program Supervisor | Student Discipline and Behavior

joshua.lynch@k12.wa.us360-725-4969

 

For questions about Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) and online learning:

Lillian Hunter, Director | Digital Learning Department

lillian.hunter@k12.wa.us | 206-543-5426

 

For questions about student enrollment reporting for state funding:

Becky McLean, Supervisor | Enrollment Reporting and Categorical Funding

becky.mclean@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6306

 

Additional Resources

HB 1541

Equity in Student Discipline

Data and Analytics: Suspensions and Expulsions

Posted in: Blog, Closing the Gaps, Legislative session, School Discipline

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Education Advocate April 2016

ED Advocate, League of Education Voters Newsletter, April 2016

Greetings

Chris Korsmo
Chris Korsmo, CEO

Thank you to those who were able to join us at our annual breakfast two weeks ago.  We enjoyed a thoughtful conversation about helping our kids create personal pathways for success with Lake Washington Institute of Technology President Dr. Amy Morrison Goings, Will Sarett, Director of the NewTech Skill Center, and Mike Sotelo, Co-Founder of the Combined Ethnic Chamber, moderated by Washington Business Alliance President Colleen McAleer

Below, you will find a shout-out to our donors from the first quarter of 2016.  If you supported us at the breakfast, watch for your name in the second quarter report.  Thank you!

With the legislative special session over and the fate of this year’s crop of education bills decided, we can now officially celebrate our wins.  Take a look at Jene Jones’ blog post to cheer for your favorite issues.

Thanks for all you do for kids. We couldn’t do it without you.
  Chris Korsmo signature

 

Chris Korsmo

Celebrating Our Donors

Thank youDonations are made to the League of Education Voters (LEV) and the LEV Foundation by individuals, groups, and businesses throughout the community. These generous donations from those who believe in high-quality public education allow us to ensure measurable progress toward LEV’s vision that every student in Washington state has access to an excellent public education that provides the opportunity for success.

We’d like to take a moment to celebrate our supporters who donated to LEV or the LEV Foundation between January 1 and March 31 of 2016. Thank you!

LEV’s Activist of the Month

WA Charters is April 2016 Activist of the MonthAt the League of Education Voters (LEV), we recognize all of the hard work that you do toward improving public education across Washington state. We are pleased to announce our Activist of the Month for April: WA Charters. Learn how WA Charters helped us save public charter schools. Read more

Hear Chris and See Breakfast Photos

Our 2016 LEV Breakfast panelThank you for making the 2016 League of Education Voters Foundation Breakfast a success!  Hear CEO Chris Korsmo’s inspiring speech and see photos from the event. Learn more

GiveBIG is back!

A strong start for all kids.GiveBIG is back! Support the League of Education Voters Foundation on May 3, 2016, as part of our community’s biggest day of giving of the year.

Start now by following us on Twitter and stay tuned for details.

Get Involved

COMING UP

May 17, 2016 | Lunchtime LEVinar on education funding, Watch for info soon!


HELP SUPPORT THE LEAGUE OF EDUCATION VOTERS FOUNDATION
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League of Education Voters

League of Education Voters2734 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
206.728.6448
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Posted in: Education Advocate, LEV News

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Update to Side-by-Side Comparison of McCleary Education Funding Taskforce Proposals

FB Kids Cover Photo

The Senate and House came to an agreement on how to move forward in fulfilling their constitutional responsibility to fully fund education.  The Legislature delivered Senate Bill 6195 (Rivers R-18, Rolfes D-23) to Gov. Inslee, which he signed into law on February 29.  SB 6195 is the Legislature’s attempt to comply with the most recent order by the State Supreme Court in which the court found the Legislature in contempt for inadequate progress in funding basic education and complying with the McCleary decision.  The Court levied a fine of $100,000 per day on the Legislature until there is a solution.

Learn about the process going forward and what the legislation does and doesn’t do.

For all the bills proposed this session, check out our 2016 Bill Tracker.

Posted in: Blog, Funding, Legislative session

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2016 Legislative Town Hall Meetings

town-hall-microphone

Legislative town hall meetings are now under way.  If you know of any other scheduled town hall meetings, please email info to LEV Communications Director Arik Korman

Date District Legislator Name Time Location
4/16/2016 23 Sherry Appleton 9:30 am Kitsap Fairgrounds Eagle’s Nest at 1195 NW Fairgrounds Rd. Bremerton WA 98311
4/16/2016 23 Drew Hansen 9:30 am Kitsap Fairgrounds Eagle’s Nest at 1195 NW Fairgrounds Rd. Bremerton WA 98311
4/16/2016 23 Christine Rolfes 9:30 am Kitsap Fairgrounds Eagle’s Nest at 1195 NW Fairgrounds Rd. Bremerton WA 98311
4/16/2016 23 Sherry Appleton 1:00 pm Poulsbo City Hall at 200 NE Moe St. Poulsbo WA 98370
4/16/2016 23 Drew Hansen 1:00 pm Poulsbo City Hall at 200 NE Moe St. Poulsbo WA 98370
4/16/2016 23 Christine Rolfes 1:00 pm Poulsbo City Hall at 200 NE Moe St. Poulsbo WA 98370

Posted in: Blog, Legislative session

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Education Advocate February 2016

ED Advocate, League of Education Voters Newsletter, February 2016

Greetings

Chris Korsmo
Chris Korsmo, CEO

It’s that time of year. Yes, there was that football game. The groundhog has done his thing. And a good chunk of the nation is fixated on the New Hampshire primary. But it’s the legislative calendar that has my attention. Last Friday marked the first of many legislative deadlines. It was the cut-off date for bills to be moved from the policy committee in their house of origin.

To keep you in the loop, we have two great ways to help you stay up on what’s happening in Olympia: our education bill tracker, and my Weekly Roundup Friday emails. You can also read our legislative priorities.

Registration for our annual breakfast is in full swing. We’d love to see you Thursday, March 31st at the Seattle Sheraton for an inspirational conversation about the skills gap and ensuring that Washington students are college and career ready with Mike Sotelo, founder of Consolidar and Plaza Bank, Dr. Amy Morrison Goings, President of Lake Washington Institute of Technology, and Will Sarrett, Director of NewTech Skill Center in Spokane, moderated by Colleen McAleer, President of the Washington Business Alliance.

Special props to our sponsors: Anonymous (platinum level), the Nick and Leslie Hanuaer Foundation (platinum level), Boeing (silver level), the Manufacturing Industrial Council (bronze level) and the Washington Business Alliance (bronze level).   

Thanks for all you do for kids. We couldn’t do it without you.
Chris Korsmo signature

 

 

Chris Korsmo

Register today for our Annual Breakfast

Register today for our 2016 Annual Breakfast: March 31, 2016, at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.Our 2016 Annual Breakfast, to support the LEV Foundation, will be held Thursday, March 31, at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.

Join us for an inspirational conversation about the skills gap and preparing Washington students for post-secondary success with Mike Sotelo, founder of Consolidar and Plaza Bank, Dr. Amy Morrison Goings, President of Lake Washington Institute of Technology, and Will Sarrett, Director of NewTech Skill Center in Spokane, moderated byColleen McAleer, President of the Washington Business Alliance. Learn more

Parent & Community Training Highlights

Parent Organizing Groups panel featuring LEV Field Director Kelly Munn with parent organizers Margarita, BJ and FatimaLEV’s Sixth Annual Parent & Community Training January 23rd at Highline College was a great success! Thank you to everyone who participated. Panel discussions covered important topics such as Career and Technical Education, public charter schools, education funding, how to advocate for your special needs child, organizing parent groups, how to find financial aid for college, the truth behind Common Core and much more.

See photos from the event and check out presentation slides. Read more

2016 Education Bill Comparisons

2016 bill comparisonsThere has been plenty of talk this legislative session about public charter schools, closing the opportunity gap, the Washington Promise Program and the Levy Cliff.  See how the lawmakers’ proposals compare in our LEV blogRead more

Get Involved

COMING UP

March 31, 2016 | 2016 Annual Breakfast, Sheraton Hotel, Seattle

 
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League of Education Voters

League of Education Voters2734 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
206.728.6448
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You are receiving this monthly newsletter because you subscribed to our mailing list or attended one of our events.
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Posted in: Education Advocate, LEV News

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Dear Legislature: The time is now

Dear Legislature,

Chris Korsmo, CEO, League of Education Voters

Chris Korsmo

Thank you for your hard work and commitment to ensuring a high-quality public education for each Washington student, from early learning through higher education. The Legislature is poised to pass the most comprehensive education budget in the history of the state that has the potential to increase opportunities for all Washington students.

But there is important work that still needs to be done.

We must ensure expanded access to quality early learning by passing the Early Start Act. We must increase the number of people who can access the State Need Grant Program. But the biggest job left to tackle is in K–12 education. To address legal issues and profound inequity in the current system, we must design a cogent, viable, funding plan for K–12 education. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Legislative session, LEV News, Press Releases & Statements, Weekly Roundup

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Statement from Chris Korsmo, CEO: McCleary v. State of Washington show cause hearing

While our State Supreme Court and Legislature quibble over missed education funding deadlines, Washington state’s 10-year achievement gap continues to grow in all grade levels in reading and math.

At the League of Education Voters, we support an ample, equitable, and stable education funding plan. When the re-definition of “basic education” (upon which McCleary v. Washington is based) was developed in 2009, we advocated, unsuccessfully, that the definition should also include early learning and higher education.

We need a definition of basic education that puts students and their learning at the center.

The current definition of basic education doesn’t meet the needs of today’s students, let alone the needs of our future students.

We can and must do better for Washington’s students.

The League of Education Voters (LEV) is a non-partisan, nonprofit statewide organization working to improve public education from early learning through higher education with ample, equitable, and stable resources.

Posted in: Blog, Funding, LEV News, Press Releases & Statements

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